It can be hard for us busy parents to slow down and set aside time to start teaching our little ones to complete tasks for themselves, such as putting on their socks or learning to brush their teeth. Let’s face it, it’s usually quicker and easier to do it ourselves; but as they grow so does their curiosity and eagerness to get involved and learn new things.
Helping them achieve a little life skill is crucial for their development and helps grow their confidence. They get such a sense of achievement and pleasure from it and keeps them eager to learn more.
Here’s our tips and things to consider when starting to encourage independence in your toddler:
Keep it Simple
Be sure to match the task to their abilities as they can become easily frustrated if something is too difficult (as you well know lol) Start with something simple or something that they have shown curiosity in doing for themselves already. Maybe it’s letting them get their bowl and cup from the cupboard at mealtimes or putting it away once washed.
Choose your moment carefully
Choose a time of day when you are not in a rush to be anywhere and can take your time as well as a time of day that your little one isn’t tired. For some the weekends might be better when you maybe don’t have to rush to be anywhere.
Lead by example
For those not as keen to try things for themselves, start by slowly encouraging their curiosity for example, encourage them to hold their toothbrush while you brush your teeth.
Make it fun
Make it fun, sing a song or make up a silly rhyme to help them learn or build their curiosity.
Create a routine so your little one knows what to expect. Eg. always wash hands after going to the toilet, brush teeth in the morning after breakfast and before bed at night. This helps your little one to understand what is coming next and for it to be expected. They will also hopefully look forward to showing your how well they are doing.
Its never too early to start encouraging some independence. Some suggested ideas for them to learn:
- washing their hands
- brushing their teeth
- Reaching the toilet themselves whilst potty training
- Helping in the kitchen, mixing eggs or getting their bowl from the cupboard
- Putting on their socks
- Tidying away their toys in a box
- Washing their face in the bath
- Helping you pull the washing from the machine
It doesn’t have to be a big job with lots of things to learn. Just start with the little things. It all brings a big sense of achievement.
A helping Hand
Being able to reach the kitchen worktop, sink or toilet without being held or lifted is part of the fun and sense of independence for your little one. The Shnuggle Step Stool is designed to make it easier for little ones to get to those hard-to-reach places; helping them to more easily potty train, reach the sink or help out in the kitchen. Giving them the confidence to become more independent as they grow.